Kansai is well-known for its many interesting annual festivals. The region is also home to various events, especially during summertime.

If you are planning a trip during summer, here are some of the festivals you shouldn’t miss:

Aizen Festival

Aizen Festival takes place in Osaka from the 30th of June to the 2nd of July and is usually held at the Aizen Shomanin Temple.

The festival celebrates the god of a happy marriage, good luck, and love known as Aizen Myo-o.

During the festival, you can enjoy a colorful parade with vibrant festival music and see the Aizen daughters dressed up in yukata up on palanquins, carried by the participants.

Official Website

Gion Festival in Kyoto (July 1st to 31st)

I believe many of you are already familiar with the Gion Matsuri held yearly in Kyoto during July.

This festival has been around since the 9th century and is one of the most popular festivals held during summer in not only the Kansai region but the entire Japanese archipelago.

As the festival is a month-long, the locals have a lot of preparations to take care of, but the result is magnificent and a must-see sight when coming to Japan.

Besides the local and street food, festive atmosphere, traditional outfits, it is a great opportunity to find out more about Japan’s tradition, history and pray with the other participants to prevent calamities in the future.


Official Website

Tenjin Matsuri, Osaka's largest festival (July 24th & 25th)

Along with Gion Matsuri, Tenjin Festival represents one of the biggest and most popular events in Japan during summer and many people come all the way especially for the beautiful fireworks display at the riverside.

You need to keep in mind that finding a spot earlier is preferable as it can get very crowded.

Some even prefer purchasing tickets for a more unique experience, while others make sure they come hours earlier so they can find a good place to view the extraordinary show.

You will first be impressed by the powerful sound of taiko(drums) and chants that mark the Rikutogyo/street procession, the beginning of the festival, that will be followed up by the second part, Funatogyo.

During the Funatogyo, hundreds of boats carrying the participants will go down by the river, marking the second part of the festival, boat procession.

It is a very lively festival and it will surely make an impression on you, too.

Official Website

These are my top 3 recommendations for major festivals you shouldn’t miss when in Kansai.

What are your favorite summer festivals in Japan?

By - cinnamonellie.